Arrests continue in ongoing college protests against Israel's war in Gaza

Student protesters on the Columbia University campus.
Posted at 8:12 PM, Apr 29, 2024

Protests on college campuses across the country continued Monday, as students demanding their schools divest from Israel faced arrest and sometimes clashes with police and counterprotesters.

Since April 18 there have been nearly 1,000 arrests, including around 275 over the weekend at Indiana University Bloomington, Arizona State University and Washington University in St. Louis.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was among those arrested at a protest at Washington University over the weekend.

Stein says she was trying to help mediate a settlement between protesters and school administrators when police arrived in riot gear.

Stein spoke with Scripps News on Monday.

"It's a very difficult subject, this is a very difficult conversation, but it's not the first one," Stein said. "Back in the 50s and the 60s we were having very difficult conversations about segregation, about integrating our schools. We've been here before, we need adults in the room to allow this conversation to go forward in a supportive way, perhaps with the assistance of de-escalation and conflict resolution professionals, which there are plenty of on our college campuses. Our campuses really need to the centers of debate and dialogue."

Police arrest protesters attempting to camp in support of Palestinians

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Meanwhile on Monday, Columbia gave protesters a deadline to disband their encampment by Monday afternoon, and said it would suspend those that did not comply.

At the University of Texas in Austin, police arrested several protesters and used pepper spray and flash-bang explosives to clear students away from the van carrying detainees.

Last week, police there arrested 34 people, according to state officials.

"No encampments will be allowed," Texas' Republican Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on social media concerning the protests. "Instead, arrests are being made."

At Northeastern University in Boston, police arrested some 100 people, planning to charge them with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Northeastern said protests had been "infiltrated by professional organizers."

The University of Southern California said it closed its campus to nonresidents. Officials said the school was dealing with illegal encampments and vandalism.

Last week, more than 90 people were arrested at protests on university grounds. The school earlier canceled its May 10 graduation ceremony and a commencement speech by a pro-Palestinian valedictorian over safety concerns.

A counterprotest at University of California, Los Angeles led to shoving between protest groups over the weekend.

At Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, officials said 82 people, including 52 students, had been arrested.

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Protesters at Yale University set up a new camp after police cleared an original camp and made close to 50 arrests the preceding week. Yale warned protesters that they may be suspended or arrested.

University of Georgia police and Georgia state troopers arrested protesters who tried to set up camp at the University of Georgia on Monday. According to Athens-Clarke County jail records, they were booked on criminal trespassing charges.